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My Wife is a Gangster 3
Korean: 조폭 마누라 3


DVD (Korea)
Region 3 NTSC
2-Disc Special Edition
KD Media
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Korean, Cantonese, Mandarin Language
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English subtitles
Various Extras

*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc

AKA: My Wife is a Gangster 3: HK Edition
Year: 2006
Director: Jo Jin-Kyoo
Cast: Shu Qi, Lee Bum-Soo, Hyeon Yeong, Oh Ji-Ho, Jo Hee-Bong, Ti Lung, Ken Lo Wai-Kwong, Sek Sau, Choi Ryeong, Kim Byeong-Choon, Cho Sang-Rok, Choi Hak-Rak, Ji Dae-Han, Sin Choong-Sik, Lee Gi-Yong, Choi Min-Soo
The Skinny: This unrelated sequel to the previous My Wife is a Gangster films amuses and bores in nearly equal doses. Shu Qi makes a striking lead and Lee Bum-Soo is likeable, though sometimes they seem to be acting in different movies. The movie is also far too long. A decent timekiller, but not one for the ages.

by Kozo:

Shu Qi moonlights in Korea for My Wife is a Gangster 3, an unrelated sequel in the hit Korean action-comedy series. The pouty-lipped Hong Kong star plays Lim Aryong, daughter to an HK gang leader (Shaw Brothers legend Ti Lung). Aryong gets fingered for allegedly murdering a rival triad boss, and is forced to flee to Korea, where her long-lost mother currently resides. Aryong would like to finally meet her, but she has other problems, namely the minions of bad guy Ken Lo chasing her to Korea, where they ally with the Korean gangs for some ineffectual gangster-like posturing and the occasional threat of bodily harm.

Aryong has her own local allies, led by Ki-Chul (Lee Bum-Soo of Mission: Sex Control), a super dopey gangster who pals around with his minions and generally does nothing of any value. Ki-Chul is assigned to escort Aryong, but he immediately gets everything wrong. For most of the film, Ki-Chul is under the mistaken impression that Aryong is a dour guest, and that the bad guys are after him. Obviously, he's wrong; it's really Aryong that they're after, and she's not timid at all. In fact, Aryong possesses the ability to kick some serious ass - which she soon demonstrates by soundly thrashing gangsters all over Korea. True to formula, romance soon blooms between the gorgeous gangsterette and the idiotic gangster loser, though the two possess questionable chemistry and a complete lack of verbal communication. Obviously, this movie is a work of fiction.

As a crackerjack action comedy, My Wife is a Gangster 3 is more tedious than terrific. The action is obviously staged, awkwardly edited, and poorly doubled, which results in Shu Qi looking a bit manly in some of her action sequences. The climactic fight sequences - which take place a good 100 minutes into the film's overlong 115-minute running time - do correct things somewhat, presenting sequences where we can actually see Shu Qi's pouty face amidst the flailing arms and knives. That may not be enough, however. If you're jonesing for kung-fu action, My Wife is a Gangster 3 will only disappoint. Get SPL, So Close, or old Sammo Hung films instead. If its distaff action you're looking for, She Shoots Straight is a fine idea. Hell, even some of those faux HK action movies starring the Twins have better action than My Wife is a Gangster 3.

However, there's still comedy in the film, and plenty of it. Actress Yeong Hyeon plays Yeon-Hee, who's hired on as a translator to facilitate communication between the Mandarin-speaking Aryong and the Korean-speaking Ki-Chu. However, instead of doing her job well, she mistranslates incessantly and quite deliberately. Much of her mistranslation is funny, as are the mistaken intentions that pop up between Aryong and Ki-Chul. Unlike many Asian films, which fudge the language barrier in sometimes sloppy and unbelievable ways, My Wife is a Gangster 3 embraces the barrier for reams of lost-in-translation comedy. The funny bits help shore up the more boring sequences, which are actually as plentiful as the humorous ones. Thanks to an insanely drawn-out running time, there's plenty of room for both the humorous and the tedious. Obviously, that's both a good and a bad thing.

Director Jo Kin-Kyoo (who also directed the first My Wife is a Gangster) would have done well to speed things up a little, but he seems content to move things along at a lackadaisical pace. This wouldn't be such an issue if the film's screenplay - which is credited to no less than seven writers - were always on, but it frequently isn't. My Wife is a Gangster 3 begins and ends in Hong Kong, and those scenes carry the seriousness of a clichéd gangland drama. By contrast, the Korea scenes feature mugging actors and many unthreatening, incompetent characters who never seem dangerous at all. Throughout the proceedings Shu Qi glowers and grimaces, bringing glamour and poise to the screen, but her character sometimes seems distant. She smiles far too little, and infrequently displays the charm or charisma that she's capable of. She certainly seems like a cool character, but her coolness sometimes crosses the line into cold.

On the other hand, Lee Bum-Soo plays a likeable dope, and Shu Qi is still a striking screen presence even when she doesn't crack a smile. Appearances by Hong Kong actors Ti Lung and Ken Lo bring some Hong Kong Cinema authenticity to the set-in-HK portions of the film, and the effort put into simply getting the languages right is certainly appreciable. For commercial cinema, My Wife is a Gangster 3 possesses the tools to occasionally entertain, which may be enough for undemanding audiences out there. The film's running time is a definite negative, however, as whatever entertainment the film offers doesn't seem to be handed out efficiently. Many scenes feel superfluous or padded out, stretching a film that may have worked better in ninety minutes into a nearly two-hour marathon of questionably consistent throwaway entertainment. The combination of comedy, action, and curiosity (Shu Qi in a Korean film? Sold!) make My Wife is a Gangster 3 a decent timekiller. However, all things considered, the film may end up killing more time than it's really worth. (Kozo 2007)

 Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen